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You may have heard that several people have announced their intention to run for President in 2020. If you haven’t then you must not read or watch any television news recently.

Either way, I want to share some advice with you. As of today, I have been contacted by several presidential camps. Five to be exact. Who they are isn’t important. However, why they called and what they asked is important to all of us.

Each of these camps that reached out wanted my advice and opinion about several things. In a nutshell, they wanted to pick my brain about what they should be doing to give themselves the best chance to become President. In effect, how could they become the most admired choice in the race.

Why call me? Because more than a decade ago, I played an early role in the successful candidacy of Barack Obama when it was time to elect a new President after George W Bush.
Whether it was 10 years ago or 10 minutes ago, my advice about running for President is the same for all of them.

  1. Hire Smart People: People that know what they are doing, then let them do their jobs without your micromanagement.
  2. Understand Your Customers (voters): Know their wants, needs and motivations before you try to sell them anything.
  3. Invest in Your Staff: If you want them to do great things for you, you have to give them the tools, information and resources to do so.
  4. Be Authentic: Don’t be afraid to show your passion. People can see whether you are keeping it real or not. Nobody likes fake buttoned-up people.
  5. Learn Good Crisis Management: When you become aware of a problem, immediately acknowledge it. Take accountability for your part in the problem. Never be afraid to apologize. Assess what you can do to make it right, and then take action to make it right.

I have been giving the same advice to everyone. This is advice is not just applicable to presidential hopefuls. It is applicable to you too. If you are in a leadership role, you should use these points. If you want to be in a leadership role, you should also use these points.

I think it’s sound advice that will help us all create a better culture in our society and our organizations. Leaders that operate with this advice will become admired by all. The honesty. The trust. The fairness is what we all want. You don’t have to be a good President to be admired. You just have to be a leader that cares about the people you lead and serve.

I challenge you to spend the rest of the year applying these principles to your daily life and see what happens to your team.


PS: For more back story on my work with Barack Obama, check out this article in Time Magazine.

PPS: For more insight on how you can improve yourself as a principled and admired leader, get your copy of The Presidential Principles.



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